Dear Aretha Franklin,
My name is Kyla Jade, but honestly I am just a little black girl who grew up loving you. I am one of the many, young black girls who thank God was blessed enough to grow up in a world where Soul music lived. I loved you not just because you are the Queen of soul. Not just because you sang every song like it was written on your heart. Not just because when you played the piano and sang it felt like my soul could be saved at any moment but I loved who you represented. I could see someone who looked like me. Every time you walked to a microphone you were grand dressed in a gown. You embodied what a strong woman should be in a world where we didn’t have a voice. You stood and took your place in music history for all women, especially women of color. We didn’t get the opportunities without kicking in doors and fighting just to be who we were. You didn’t apologize for how the music made you feel. You didn’t apologize for your sound or your choices. You Ms. Franklin taught the world and this little Black girl what soul music was.
This letter is a just one of many love letters this young black girl will be writing you over the next couple of months. I started a journey last October on NBC’s The Voice. When asked to audition they ask us to tell them who we are in less than 30 seconds. So what did I do??? From your catalog I pulled “See Saw”. You had the ability to tell a story from the very first note of a song. So I stood and I sang “See Saw” with my eyes closed and my hands on my hips. I wasn’t sure how I felt about auditioning in front of people I didn’t know but I did know how I felt when I sang your song. If they didn’t like me that was to darn bad because at the moment I was in my happy place. That is how your music makes me feel. Happy, strong, confident and content. There is a song for every emotional moment in my life. So when I was chosen to actually do a blind audition for NBC’s The Voice, I choose to do the VERY SAME SONG. If no chairs turned I sang a song I was proud of by an artist I admired and believed in.
My first single coming out off of a fresh 3rd place win on NBC’s the voice is another one of these moments. I choose “Day Dreaming” which by the way I always loved that it was written by you. It for me is my ULTIMATE thank you. Thank you for being such a beacon of light that in every stage of my life I can nod to who you are.
Because of your life music, this little black girl has someone she can strive to be like. There will never be another Aretha Franklin in this world. BUT you have proven that another little black girl can strive to make a musical difference in this world by being exactly who God put her on this Earth to be. Thank you.
Sincerely and musically yours,
A little Black Girl named Kyla Jade